Saturday, June 14, 2008

Single Mom vs Married Mom: Slamming The Stereotypes and Myths

Statistics form stereotypes, and stereotypes form myths. So tonight we will not discuss the researched stats, only true life experiences that defy the myths. I will post a blog with the facts and statistics to these myths in the days to come.

SINGLE MOMS: single moms had the most myths floating in cyberspace!
-Most single moms are broke, poor, and struggling.
-Single moms are the least likely women to get remarried.
-Myth: Children in single-parent families always have deficits, do poorly in school and suffer emotionally and behaviorally.
-Myth: Single-parent families are "broken homes."
-Myth: Children from single-parent families have lower self-esteem.
-Myth: Since culturally, traditional nuclear families are the norm and predominant, single parenting is an aberration and single parents are often left lonely and isolated.
-Single moms really can’t handle raising teen-agers . . .
-Children raised by single moms actually resent and hate their mothers ….
-Sons of single moms are at a terrible disadvantage because there is no man living at home to be a consistent role model. . . .
-Women are not fully qualified to give their sons the all-round upbringing that they need and once they have to face the world, they prove to be failures.
-Fatherless children, especially boys, do not perform well on school grades or in games and their future is doomed.
-A Child Needs a Father
-Myth: Children in "fatherless homes" have fared poorly over the past three decades.
-Myth -- Youth from "fatherless homes" are at higher risk for substance abuse.
-Myth -- Children are at greater risk of physical abuse in single mother households than in single father households.
-Myth -- Children of unwed teenage mothers do better when they have more involved fathers.
-Myth -- "1% increase in the rate of fatherlessness SAT scores declined 3 points..." (per The False Child Abuse Industry by John Knight for Fathering Magazine)
-Myth -- Juvenile delinquency is caused by "fatherlessness."
-Myth -- High Youth Crime Rates are a direct result of "fatherlessness."
-Myth -- Children fare worse in single parent homes.
-Myth -- Research on single mother households proves that "fatherlessness" harms children.
-Single moms are lonely and have a hard time finding a mate.
-It is very difficult to make ends meet for a family on this salary.
-Teenage mothers are lazy
-Young Mothers Are Unfit Delinquents
-"A child is better off raised by an unrelated married couple than by her own parents if her mother is single at the time she is born."
-"A child is better off raised by an older person than by her young mother."
-"A child is better off with wealth than with her own mother or father."
Propaganda -- Children growing up without a father in the home are more than twice as likely to end up in jail.

Myth -- There has been a large increase in the percentages of children now living in single father households.
Myth -- "Equality under the law" means that men and women are the same in all ways.
Custodial fathers have high incomes.
There are not many custodial fathers.
Most custodial fathers have remarried.
Most custodial fathers are widowers, and all were married at some time.
Custodial fathers primarily receive custody of older boys.

Myth -- Research on single and divorced mother households proves that divorce harms children.
Myth -- Divorce causes academic and behavioral problems in children.
You were better off married

The Top Ten Myths of Divorce
-Because people learn from their bad experiences, second marriages tend to be more successful than first marriages. Not true.
-Living together before marriage is a good way to reduce the chances of eventually divorcing. Not true.
-Divorce may cause problems for many of the children who are affected by it, but by and large these problems are not long lasting and the children recover relatively quickly. Not true.
-Having a child together will help a couple to improve their marital satisfaction and prevent a divorce. Not true.
-Following divorce, the woman's standard of living plummets by seventy three percent while that of the man's improves by forty two percent. Not true.
-When parents don't get along, children are better off if their parents divorce than if they stay together. Not true.
-Because they are more cautious in entering marital relationships and also have a strong determination to avoid the possibility of divorce, children who grow up in a home broken by divorce tend to have as much success in their own marriages as those from intact homes. Not true.
-Following divorce, the children involved are better off in stepfamilies than in single-parent families. Not true.
-Being very unhappy at certain points in a marriage is a good sign that the marriage will eventually end in divorce. Not true.
-It is usually men who initiate divorce proceedings. Not true.

-Myth: Divorced men can not be good fathers.
-Myth: A divorced mom or dad should get remarried to provide a new mother or father for the children.
-Myth: Divorced Dads Are Deadbeat Dads
-Myth: Divorced Dads Are Runaway Dads
-Myth: Divorced Fathers Impoverish Their Former Wives and Children
-Myth: Divorced Fathers Have It Easy Emotionally After Divorce; Only Their Ex--Wives and Children are Distressed
-Myth: Divorce Settlements Tilt Unfairly in Favor of Divorced Fathers
-Myth: Fathers Initiate Most of the Family Breakups, Abandoning Their Families and Their Responsibilities
-Myth: Families used to stand on their own two feet and take care of their members without help from government
-Myth: Collapse of the traditional family is the main source of America's social and economic problems.

-Myth: Mothers in intact homes are better parents than single mothers.
-Myth: Families with a Non-Employed Mother are Wealthy.
-Myth: Families Cannot Afford to Live on One Income Today
-Myth: Mothers are Either Employed Full-Time or They are At-Home Mothers Earning No Income.
-Married moms receive way more paternal help with raising the kids, doing chores, getting enough sleep, and allowing mom to have regular ample time to herself.
-Myth: Having a baby brings you closer
-Myth: Spouses should be best friends as well as romantic partners
-Myth: Don't fight in front of the kids

-Myth: Studies have shown that nonmaternal care, e.g. daycare, has no ill effects.
-Myth: Most Young Children are in Alternative Child Care.
-Myth: Women with Careers and Families "Have It All," While Mothers at Home are Throwbacks to the 1950s.
-Myth: Children who are older do not benefit from stay-home mothers; mothers should be back to work full-time once children are in school.

-Myth #4: Stepmothers are wicked.
-Myth -- Stepmothers are acceptable substitutes for children's real mothers.
-Myth -- Mother-absence is no different from father-absence; it's a single-parent family, and "gender" of the parent is irrelevant.
-Myth -- Who is "family" is based on biological ties.

-Myth -- Stepfathers are less engaged with their stepchildren than biological fathers are with their own offspring, and are more likely to injure or kill the children with whom they reside than are biological fathers.

-Myth: Stepfamily blending happens quickly
-Myth: A stepfamily is the same as a first-marriage family.
-Myth: Love occurs instantly.
-Myth: Children whose parents divorce and remarry are damaged permanently.
-Myth: It helps children to withdraw from their nonresidential parent. When children aren't allowed contact with the nonresidential parent, they tend to have idealized fantasies about them.
-Myth: Remarriages following a death go more smoothly than those occurring after a divorce

Monday, June 9, 2008


More view cohabitation as acceptable choice

By Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY
June 9, 2008

An analysis of cohabitation, marriage and divorce data from 13 countries, including the USA, shows that living together has become so mainstream that growing numbers of Americans view it as an alternative to marriage.
The National Marriage Project study of a sampling of Western European and Scandinavian nations, Australia, Canada and New Zealand found that cohabitation elsewhere is far more common and indeed viewed as an option to matrimony. The study found that anywhere from 15% to 30% of all couples identified themselves as living together, compared with about 10% right now in the USA.

VOTE: Which best describes your views on cohabitation?
YOUR STORY: Have you ever 'cohabited?' Would you again?

"We're still the most marrying of all these countries, but the data are clearly headed in the one common direction. It's headed in the direction of cohabitation as an alternative," says David Popenoe, the report's author and co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, which studies marriage and child well-being.

Because the most recent data analyzed from some countries is two years old or more, and because increasing numbers of celebrities are living together, Popenoe says his projections take into account slight increases over time.

"Today, celebrities from Hollywood and elsewhere are looked up to," he says. "They have become role models. They are far more influential today than ever in the past."

A previous study by the same group showed that since 1970, the number of Americans living together has increased from about 500,000 opposite-sex couples to more than 5 million.

Using databases of Census-like information in the countries studied, the new analysis found that the marriage rate is down in all countries except Norway and Sweden, which have had traditionally low marriage rates. In the USA from 1995 to 2005, the marriage rate declined almost 20%.

The report will be posted online Wednesday.

Joselin Linder, 33, of Brooklyn is living with a boyfriend now and has lived with two others in the past. Now she's co-author of the new book The Good Girl's Guide to Living in Sin and says many women her age and younger view living with a romantic partner as a convenience. She says it's not about avoiding marriage.

"It's what's happening in the world of dating, and it's not necessarily a path anywhere," she says.

The new report cites Census data showing that about 40% of all opposite-sex, unmarried couples live with their own child under 18.

"We often think of cohabitation as a phenomenon of young adulthood before people start having kids, but … as marriage is being delayed to later and later ages, more children are born before marriage, and many of the couples are cohabiting before the birth," says R. Kelly Raley, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas-Austin, who did not participate in the study.

Raley isn't convinced that cohabitation is being viewed as a marriage alternative, citing a 2001 study of her own. The evidence, she found, didn't suggest people cohabit to start a family, which she says is what would be expected if cohabitation were considered a marriage alternative.

The National Marriage Project report also citesfindings from earlier studies showing that children of cohabiting couples are more likely to experience emotional problems, alcoholism and drug abuse. But Raley says the research leaves unanswered questions.

"Many cohabiting couples use cohabitation to weather economic uncertainty or uncertainty about a relationship," she says. "We can't tell if the negative outcome for the child is due to the cohabitation or to the economic uncertainty or maybe the relationship uncertainty. That's a limitation of the data."

READERS: Have you ever lived with someone you were romantically involved with but not married to? Did you end up getting married, breaking up or do you remain cohabiting? Do you think there's a stigma about cohabitation? If so, is it justified?


Unmarried cohabitors as percent of all couples:

Country 1995 2000s

Canada 13.9% 18.4% (2006)

Denmark 24.7% 24.4% (2006)

France 13.6% 17.2% (2001)

Germany 8.2% 11.2% (2005)

Italy 3.1% 3.8% (2003)

Netherlands 13.1% 13.3% (2004)

Sweden 23% 28.4% (2005)

United Kingdom 10.1% 15.4% (2004)

USA 5.1% 7.6% (2005)

Source: The National Marriage Project at Rutgers University

Monday, May 26, 2008

Marriage Statistics Incomplete

June 1, 1999

U.S. quits gathering marriage statistics
By Karen S. Peterson, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON - The federal government no longer is keeping
detailed, yearly, state-by-state statistics on marriage and divorce.

Budget cuts three years ago at the National Center for Health Statistics
(NCHS) only now are being felt by researchers and demographers who
study the state of the family.

And next year, the short form of the Census - the version that more than 80% of Americans will receive - for the first time in modern times will not ask marital status.

The changes are dramatically affecting sociologists, researchers, policymakers and politicians.

"These statistics are absolutely vital to us," says Linda Waite, University of Chicago family researcher and sociologist. "They are very fundamental if we are to understand what kind of families we are living in."

The Census information still will be collected on the long form received by about 16 million people, and demographers will be able to use the answers to calculate marriage statistics for the entire country.

Still, it won't be a detailed marital head count. And some members of Congress are concerned. "We will be looking into it," says Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn. "We need this kind of information."

The cutbacks indicate "a significant point in history," says family therapist Diane Sollee of the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education. "We are not even asking for this information anymore."

Beginning in 1996, the NCHS decided to collect only numbers of marriages and divorces yearly from the states instead of details such as when people married or divorced, how old they were, whether they had been married before or how many children they had.

That is the kind of information that demographers use to make often-quoted projections, such as the one that about half of new marriages will end in divorce.

Because of budget cuts, "we had to cut some of the activities within our data collection system," says James Weed of the NCHS. "We couldn't very well cut births and deaths, so we cut marriages and divorces."

Not all demographers are worried. Larry Bumpass, a sociologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, says government information has been inadequate. He says not all states report data to the voluntary system, and they use different methods of collection.

He also says other studies are available from private and university sources as well as some Census information.

Latest Statistics from US Census Bureau
The latest US Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics contain updates through September, 2006. Since collection of records of total divorces ended in 1998, some charts are no longer being updated. Although the charts here are based upon the best statistics available, there are limitations. Please refer to the original statistical tables in the footnotes for known limitations.
The ratio of marriages to divorces is 2 to 1 (Marriages and Divorces).
Total Marriages showed a sharp drop in 1998.
Marital Status for Females 15 and over (1950 - 2005) shows that the population of unmarried women will soon surpass the number of married women. This indicates a rejection of the Divine Institution of Marriage by the population.
The number of Unmarried Couple Households (liveins) is increasing steadily.
Where are the children living (with one or two parents) due to divorce? Children living with only one parent has increased from 9% in 1960 to 30% (29.52%) in 2005. Of those 83% of the children live with the mother. This is creating a society of bastards.

The marriage rate in the United States flirts with an all-time low.

Over the last several decades, marriage in our nation has declined, while cohabitation, divorce and unmarried childbearing have increased.
From 1970 to 1996, the marriage rate in the United States fell by a third, from 77 to 50 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women.
From 1960 to 1998, the number of unmarried, cohabiting couples increased nearly tenfold, from 439,000 to 4.2 million.
Divorce rates also increased from 9 to 23 per married couples from 1960 to 1980, before declining slightly and remaining steady at 20 per 1,000 through 1998.
Births to unmarried women increased from 11 to 33 percent of all births from 1970 to 1994, then leveled off through 1999.
Nationally, 1.3 million children are born out-of-wedlock each year.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Unwed Childbearing in the U.S.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center for Health Statistics Release: December 5, 2007
The study shows unmarried childbearing reached a new record high in 2006. The total number of births to unmarried mothers rose nearly 8 percent to 1,641,700 in 2006. This represents a 20 percent increase from 2002, when the recent upswing in nonmarital births began. The biggest jump was among unmarried women aged 25-29, among whom there was a 10 percent increase between 2005 and 2006.

In addition, the nonmarital birth rate also rose sharply, from 47.5 births per 1,000 unmarried females in 2005 to 50.6 per 1,000 in 2006 -- a 7-percent 1-year increase and a 16 percent increase since 2002.

The study also revealed that the percentage of all U.S. births to unmarried mothers increased to 38.5 percent, up from 36.9 percent in 2005.

The statistics are featured in a new report, "Births: Preliminary Data for 2006," prepared by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, and are based on data from over 99 percent of all births for the United States in 2006. A final report to follow will have more detailed data.

According to U.S. Vital Statistics data, the nonmarital fertility rate increased from
7.1 per 1000 unmarried women in 1940 to 46.9 1000 unmarried women in 1994 – more
than a six-fold increase. The rise was uninterrupted except for a few years in the 1970s. In
recent years it has leveled off in the mid-40 range. This steady increase contrasts with the
large swings in the overall U.S. fertility rate during the same period.
The increase in the nonmarital fertility rate, combined with decreasing fertility rates
among married women since the 1950s and with more recent declines in rates of marriage,
has produced a steady rise in the nonmarital birth ratio. During the 1940s nonmarital births
were 3.5 per cent of all births. By 1960 the ratio had crept up to slightly more than 5 per
cent. By the 1990s it had jumped to the 32-33 per cent range (Ventura & Bachrach 2000).

Births to Unwed Mothers Increase to Record Proportion in U.S.

By Elizabeth Lopatto
July 13 (Bloomberg) -- More than a third of all U.S. births in 2005 were to unwed women, the highest level ever reported, according to data released today by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.
The increase to 37 percent may be due to more unmarried couples living together, people getting married later in life, restricted access to birth control and concern among older women that fertility declines with age, experts said. Pregnancy among teenagers fell as fewer had sex and more used contraceptives, the report's authors said.
Unwed mothers are more likely to have children with lower birth weights and a higher infant mortality rate, and their offspring are at higher risk of living in poverty, according to the report. Even after controlling for the mother's age, the children are at greater risk, said report co-author Stephanie Ventura, the chief of reproductive statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland.
``In many cases, there's a socio-economic situation that's not as favorable,'' Ventura said in a telephone interview on July 11. ``Many of these women don't have the same nutritional opportunities, even before they're pregnant.''
Single moms with significant economic resources don't all have the same problems, Ventura said. Still ``it's an important factor to identify if you're looking at children who might need more supports to balance out the family situation.''
Most cases of unwed motherhood used to be accidental, said Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. The increase in older unwed mothers suggests that women in poor areas may have less access to birth control, or that women are cohabiting without marrying.
Failed Relationships
``You may have women with a failed relationship who ended up pregnant,'' said Coontz, who wasn't involved in compiling the report, in a telephone interview yesterday.
The data is incomplete without information about the economic resources of the women, Coontz said.
``You may have women whose biological clock was ticking, who had good economic and educational resources and the support of their friends and family,'' she said. ``That's a big distinction.''
Those who have economic difficulty or who didn't think through their pregnancies are more likely to drink and smoke when pregnant, Coontz said.
The statistics on unwed mothers may be somewhat deceptive, said Marie McCormick, a professor of maternal and child health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston who wasn't involved in preparing the report.
False Counts
``In California, they used to look at the birth certificate, and if the mother's last name and the father's last name were different, they declared the women unmarried,'' McCormick said yesterday in a telephone interview. Some women opt to keep their name after marriage, and might be falsely counted as unmarried, she said.
Domestic partnerships may account for the rise in unwed mothers, she said. This was the first time she'd seen an increase in births among unwed mothers over age 25.
``This looks more like things in Europe,'' she said. ``We're seeing less marriage.''
To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Lopatto in New York at
Last Updated: July 13, 2007 00:00 EDT

Saturday, May 24, 2008


In family law and government policy, child support or child maintenance is the ongoing obligation for a periodic payment made directly or indirectly by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent, caregiver or guardian, or the government, for the care and support of children of a relationship or marriage that has been terminated. In family law, child support is often arranged as part of a divorce, marital separation, dissolution, annulment, determination of parentage or dissolution of a civil union and may supplement alimony (spousal support) arrangements.

Legal theory
Child support is based on the policy that both parents are obligated to support their children, even when the children are not living with both biological parents. Though courts typically permit visitation rights to non-custodial parents, in such separations one parent is often awarded custody and the role of primary caregiver. In such cases, the other parent still remains obligated to pay a proportion of the costs involved in raising the child. Child support may also be ordered to be paid by one parent to another when both parents are custodial parents and they share the child raising responsibilities. In rare cases, a parent with sole custody of his or her children may be ordered to pay child support to the noncustodial parent to support the children while they are in the care of that parent.

In most jurisdictions there is no need for the parents to be married, and only paternity and/or maternity (filiation) need to be demonstrated for a child support obligation to be found by a competent court. Child support may also operate through the principle of estoppel where a de facto parent that is in loco parentis for a sufficient time to establish a permanent parental relationship with the child or children.

Child support vs. contact
While the issues of child support and visitation or contact may be decided in the same divorce or paternity settlement, in most jurisdictions the two rights and obligations are completely separate and individually enforceable. Custodial parents may not withhold contact to "punish" a noncustodial parent for failing to pay some or all child support required. Conversely, a noncustodial parent is required to pay child support even if he or she is partially or fully denied contact with the child.

Additionally, a non-custodial parent is responsible for child support payments even if he or she does not wish to have a relationship with his or her child. Courts have maintained that a child's right to financial support from parents supersedes an adult's wish not to assume a parenting role.

While child support and contact are separate issues, in some jurisdictions, the latter may influence the former. In the United Kingdom, for example, the amount of support ordered may be reduced based on the number of nights per week the child regularly spends at the non-custodial parent's home.

Use of child support payments
All international and national child support regulations recognize that every parent has an obligation to support his or her child. Therefore, the custodial and non-custodial parents are required to share the responsibility for their child(ren)'s expenses.

Support monies collected are expected to be used for the child's expenses, including food, shelter, clothing and educational needs. They are not meant to function as "spending money" for the child. Courts have held that it is acceptable for child support payments to be used to indirectly benefit the custodial parent. For example, child support monies may be used to heat the child's residence, even if this means that other people also benefit from living in a heated home.

Child support orders may earmark funds for specific items for the child, such as school fees, day care or medical expenses. In some cases, non-custodial parents may pay for these items directly. For example, they may pay tuition fees directly to their child's school, rather than remitting money for the tuition to the custodial parent. Orders may also require each parent to assume a percentage of expenses for various needs. For instance, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, custodial parents are required to pay for the first $100 of annual uninsured medical costs incurred by each child. Only then will the courts consider authorizing child-support money from a non-custodial parent to be used for said costs.

Many American universities also consider non-custodial parents to be partially responsible for paying college costs, and will consider their income in their financial aid determinations. In certain states, non-custodial parents may be ordered by the court to assist with these expenses.

In the United States, non-custodial parents may receive a medical order that requires them to add their children to their health insurance plans. In some states both parents are responsible for providing medical insurance for the child/children. If both parents possess health coverage, the child may be added to the more beneficial plan, or use one to supplement the other.[38] Children of active or retired members of the U.S. armed forces are also eligible for health coverage as military dependents, and may be enrolled in the DEERS program at no cost to the non-custodial parent.

Accountability regulations for child support money vary by country and state. In some jurisdictions, such as Australia and custodial parents are trusted to use support payments in the best interest of the child, and thus are not required to provide details on specific purchases. In other jurisdictions, a custodial parent might legally be required to give specific details on how child support money is spent at the request of the court or the non-custodial parent. In the United States, 10 states (Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington) allow courts to demand an accounting on expenses and spending from custodial parents. Additionally, Alabama courts have authorized such accounting under certain specific circumstances.

Calculating Child Support
Various approaches to calculating the amount of child support award payments exist. Many jurisdictions consider multiple sources of information when determining support, taking into account the income of the parents, the number and ages of children living in the home, basic living expenses and school fees. If the child has special needs, such as treatment for a serious illness or disability, these costs may also be taken into consideration.

Guidelines for support orders may be based on laws which require non-custodial parents to pay a flat percentage of their annual income toward their children's expenses. Often two approaches are combined. In the United Kingdom, for instance, there are four basic rates of child support based on the non-custodial parents' income, which are then modified and adjusted based on several factors. In the United States, the federal government requires all states to have guideline calculations that can be verified and certified. These are usually computer programs based upon certain financial information including, earnings, visitation, taxes, insurance costs, and several other factors.

Once established, child support orders remain static unless otherwise reviewed. Custodial and non-custodial parents reserve the right to request a court review for modification (typically one year or more after the issuance of the order). For instance, if the non-custodial parent becomes unemployed or faces financial hardship, he or she may petition the court for a reduction in support payments. Conversely, if the child's expenses increase, the custodial parent may ask the court to increase payments to cover the new costs. Although both parents have the right to petition the court for a support order adjustment, modifications are not automatic, and a judge may decide not to alter the amount of support after hearing the facts of the case. That is to say, simply because a non-custodial parent's income has decreased, a court may find that the decrease in income is of no fault of the child, and will not decrease the child's expenses, and therefore should not have an impact on him or her financially. Likewise, a court may find that an increase in the child's expenses may have been calculated by the custodial parent and is not necessary, and therefore the support obligation of the non-custodial parent should not increase.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Deadbeat parent is a pejorative term referring to parents of either gender that have freely chosen not to be a financially supportive parent in their children's lives. Primarily used in the US, the gender-specific Deadbeat dad and Deadbeat mom are commonly used by the child support agency to refer to men and women who have fathered or mothered a child but fail to pay child support ordered by a family law court or statutory agency such as the Child Support Agency.

The real definition is an unrestricted parent treated equally who chooses not to be a regular or supportive parent in their child or children's lives.

Child custody and guardianship are legal terms which are sometimes used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent and his or her child, such as the right of the parent to make decisions for the child, and the parent's duty to care for the child.

Following ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in most countries, terms such as "residence" and "contact" (known as "visitation" in the United States) have superseded the concepts of "custody" and "access". Instead of a parent having "custody" of or "access" to a child, a child is now said to "reside" or have "contact" with a parent. For a discussion of the new international nomenclature, see parental responsibility.

Residence and contact issues typically arise in proceedings involving divorce (dissolution of marriage), annulment and other legal proceedings where children may be involved. In most jurisdictions the issue of which parent the child will reside with is determined in accordance with the best interests of the child standard.

Family law proceedings which involve issues of residence and contact often generate the most acrimonious disputes. While many parents cooperate when it comes to sharing their children, not all do. For those that engage in litigation, there seem to be few limits. Court filings quickly fill with mutual accusations by one parent against the other, including sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, brain-washing, parental alienation syndrome, sabotage, and manipulation. It is these infrequent "super-heated" custody battles that make the news and sometimes distort the public's perceptions as to the prevalence of such disputes and the adequacy of the court's response.

Forum shopping to gain advantage occurs both between nations and where laws and practices differ between areas within a nation, The Hague Convention seeks to avoid this, also in the United States of America, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act was adopted by all 50 states, family law courts were forced to defer jurisdiction to the home state.

In some places, courts and legal professionals are beginning to use the term parenting schedule instead of custody and visitation. The new terminology eliminates the distinction between custodial and noncustodial parents, and also attempts to build upon the so-called best interests of the children by crafting schedules that meet the developmental needs of the children. For example, younger children need shorter, more frequent time with parents, whereas older children and teenagers can tolerate and may demand less frequent shifts, but longer blocks of time with each parent.

In Family Law, contact (or in the United States, visitation) is one of the general terms which denotes the level of contact a parent or other significant person in a child's life can have with that child. Contact forms part of the bundle of rights and privileges which a parent may have in relation to any child of the family.

Following ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in most countries, the term "access" was superseded by the term contact. The terminology reflects a substantive change in the law. A parent is not necessarily any longer entitled to have "custody" of or "access" to a child. Instead, a child may be allowed to reside or have contact with a parent.

Visitation in the U.S.
Generally speaking, visitation is considered only a privilege granted to the non-custodial parent of any child of the family. The standard visitation awards by the family court in most U.S. states consists of alternating weekends and some holidays (usually amounting to four days a month unless the parent allows an increase in shared parenting time).

However, the child, at or around the age of 13, depending on the state, may choose in which parent's home to live without government interference.

Parents (and in some jurisdictions grandparents) frequently believe that they have a right to visitation or access; however, courts in several countries have used the subjective doctrine of the best interests of the child to deny parental or grandparental access to the child(ren). This is commonly found in cases when custody of the child(ren) is disputed and there is a history of interference with visitation. In such high conflict cases, there are often allegation of child abuse and/or domestic violence.

In high conflict cases, visitation may be supervised by a social worker, psychologist, guardian ad litem, or other third party while the noncustodial parent visits with the child.

Many noncustodial parents have visitation orders that allow the child to visit with them without any supervision. These visits often take place away from the custodial residence. Often the noncustodial parent is granted overnight visitation, weekend visitation, or vacation visitation.

Parents may also share custody and may agree to allow visitation. In these situations a court order may not be needed, though sometimes it is obtained to forestall later disputes about what the parents had previously agreed to, and to allow the courts to have some oversight over the children (which they normally have under statute and under the parens patriae power).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friday, May 23, 2008

Psyche Of The Single Parent

Psyche Of The Single Parent

Why do MEN hide from their children?? Was your Papa a rolling stone?

Date / Time: 5/31/2008 11:00 PM
Category: Family
Call-in Number: (646) 716-4924
On the run Daddies: Where are they hiding? Why are they hiding? What affects it has on the kids. Why parents CHOOSE not to be involved in their kids lives. Adult Children of Absentee Parents: What was YOUR father's excuse? Every Saturday Night 11:00p NY EST, 10:00p Chicago CST, 9:00p Denver MST, 8:00p Los Angeles PST